Opinion: Middlebury College earns thanks for recent event

Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to Middlebury College President Ron Liebowitz, faculty and students.
The Mount Abraham Union High School International Day that Middlebury College faculty, staff and students provided on your college campus exceeded all our expectations. Under the leadership of International Student and Scholar Advisor Joani Taylor, a remarkable day unfolded. Our ninth-graders came to understand that they are global citizens, part of an international community that can be seen and heard and felt right here in Addison County.
Joani Taylor brought 20 of your international students to Mt. Abraham in the spring of 2014. The high school and college interactions were so positive that students and faculty from both institutions began brainstorming ways to get every ninth-grader speaking with your students and faculty. Through meetings and emails that Joani facilitated throughout the summer and fall, a collaborative effort developed which made International Day possible.
Dean of International Programs Jeff Cason welcomed the 120 ninth-graders at Wilson Hall. Kristen Mullins and the Language in Motion students enthusiastically shared their adventures in the Middle East. Bill Mayers and the International Program and Off-Campus Study office created a workshop where Middlebury faculty and students engaged our ninth-graders in a geography lesson and helped our ninth-graders imagine themselves as future study-abroad students.
Assistant Professor of Political Science Jessica Teets facilitated five World Issue presentations by approximately 20 of her students. Many international student scholars presented their experiences to our students while others were facilitators and escorted our students to workshops around campus. Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Mez Baker-Medard and Heather Neuwirth at the Center for Social Entrepreneurship welcomed Mt. Abraham students into their offices and engaged the students in meaningful discussions. Other presenters included Visiting Professor of Political Science Orion Lewis.
Your facilities helped students relax and envision themselves beyond their home towns and school where they may continue their learning in the larger world.
We would like to thank the entire college and particularly the students, staff and faculty members who made International Day possible. May we find new ways of connecting, improving and learning with each other in the years to come.
Thank you.
Anne Friedrichs, Andrew Jones, Colleen Kiley, Thomas Learmonth, Gabriel Hamilton and Vicki Bronson
Ninth-grade team teachers
Mount Abraham Union High School

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